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Taking part in industrial action

06 Sep 2022

HCPC registrants, like other professions, have the right to take part in lawful industrial action

Although industrial action is primarily a matter between employers and employees, we recognise that some HCPC registrants may have questions about how it may impact on their registration.

During industrial action, we recommend that employers and registrants are mindful that:

  1. The behaviours set out in our Standards of conduct, performance and ethics, and Standards of proficiency still apply, and registrants should remain within their scope of practice
  2. As always, the safety of patients and service users should be the foremost consideration

We know that our registrants are committed healthcare professionals who work hard to meet their HCPC standards and also that, occasionally, concerns are raised about an individual’s ability to practise safe and effectively.

In the event of a concern, the HCPC will, as we always do, consider each case and take into account the specific context, including the factors relevant to the environment in which the professional is working. We will also take account of any relevant information about resource, guidelines or protocols in place at the time.

We recognise that a period of industrial action can be stressful, both for those not taking part (who may face extra demand for their services) and those participating. The HCPC closely monitors developments around industrial action that may impact our registrants and will issue further guidance if necessary.

Frequently asked questions

  • In general, if you are involved in planned, organised industrial action, such as through a trade union, it would be unlikely to give rise to concerns about your continued registration. 

    Exceptions to this would be unreasonable or unilateral actions which result in a caution from the police, or if you are charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence, which may be fitness to practise matters. In these cases, you should tell us straight away. We will consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis in line with our guidance on health and character.

  • As we outline above, the standards of conduct, performance and ethics apply at all times and set out our expectations of your behaviour.

    If concerns are raised with us about individuals, we will always consider these on a case-by-case basis, taking into careful consideration the circumstances in which any mistakes have occurred.

  • We expect HCPC-approved education and training programmes to assess all risks to your learning and ensure effective support is in place.

    If your programme doesn’t have effective support in place because staff are taking industrial action, your education provider has a responsibility to make alternative arrangements.

    If you have concerns about your education provider, you can report these to the HCPC here.

Page updated on: 06/09/2022
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